London rivals Tottenham and Chelsea go head-to-head at White Hart Lane on Sunday with both entering the game with positive recent results and eager to herald another three points.
Although the current Premier League champions have had a slow start to the new campaign, they have been a bogey team for Spurs up until relatively recently.
The Lilywhites supporters will still have their 5-3 victory in the corresponding fixture last year fresh in their minds, but the assumption that Mauricio Pochettino’s men will automatically replicate it this weekend would be foolish.
Spurs are unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League games while Chelsea are floundering in mid-table, but with the quality in the visiting side, the North Londoners will need to be at their best to get a favourable result.
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Tottenham’s attacking play was distinctly crisp in their 4-1 win over West Ham last time out, with Harry Kane adding to his brace against the Hammers with the winner over Qarabag in the Europa League.
Although Kane and Christian Eriksen get most of the attacking plaudits in the Spurs side, there is another avenue that the hosts will need to exploit on Sunday to increase their chances of winning.
Although none of Chelsea’s back four have covered themselves in too much glory this season, the Blues have had real issues a left-back.
The catastrophic start to the campaign by right-back Branislav Ivanovic has seen Cesar Azpilicueta move back to his natural flank, with Jose Mourinho struggling for competent options to deputise for the Spaniard on the left.
In midweek against Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League, summer signing Baba Rahman got the nod to start and providing some inviting crosses for the Chelsea forwards to attack.
However, the former Augsburg man was not put under much pressure by the Israeli hosts, who played a considerable proportion of the game with ten men. Rahman’s last domestic outing came at the Britannia Stadium, where the Blues were beaten 1-0 by Stoke and the Ghanaian defender was given a torrid time by Xherdan Shaqiri.
Mourinho has also opted to play Brazilian youngster Kenedy at left-back recently, somewhat strangely given that he is naturally an attacking player and is still starting out in his career.
Regardless of who lines up at left-back for Chelsea on Sunday, Pochettino’s side would be advised to apply the relevant pressure.
Kyle Walker may well be a defensive liability at times but his pace and energy on the front foot is an attacking weapon that Spurs can use here.
It will likely be Son Heung-min that starts from the right of midfield again, and as such getting the ball to the talented South Korean’s feet and letting him attack seems like another sensible ploy.
Much of Spurs’ play is directed centrally or through Eriksen on the left, but Pochettino may well urge his side to look to the other flank once the opposition team-sheet is revealed at the weekend.